Toronto Jews welcome York University task force

March 18, 2009

NEW YORK (JTA) – Toronto Jewish leaders welcomed the establishment of a task force to review concerns about the student environment at York University.

York President Mamdouh Shoukri on Monday announced the task force, which will be composed of seven faculty members and seven students from the Toronto school.

Intense pro-Palestinian activity on campus in recent weeks has included what Jewish student leaders say is rhetoric that clearly crossed the line into anti-Semitism.

In February, a group of students at the office of Hillel, the Jewish campus group, had to be escorted from the building by police after a hostile crowd chanting anti-Semitic rhetoric gathered outside.

“We are pleased that the university has taken in account the deep concerns expressed by our community,” David Koschitzky, chair of UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, said in a statement. “We think the task force is a meaningful first step in our desire to see York University stop intimidation and harassment on campus, and we hope that investigations now under way into an ugly Feb. 11 incident targeting Jewish students will move ahead with full force while the task force is being formed.”

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